7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #20: Featuring Karen Peris

h1 July 22nd, 2007 by Eisha and Jules

Welcome once again to our Sunday meeting ground for listing Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week (whether book-related or not) that happened to you. If you’re new, please know that everyone is welcome.

Jules: Normally, we feature a children’s book illustrator here at our lists every Sunday. But this week we are featuring an artist and singer/songwriter musician named Karen Peris. Those of you who read this post of mine from early July may remember who she is. If you missed that, let me briefly explain that Karen is one of three members of one most remarkably wonderful band, entitled The Innocence Mission. And, when Karen kindly allowed me to post the lyrics in their entirety to one of her songs (in the post I mention above), I took the opportunity to ask her if we could feature the beautiful art work from the cover of their children’s lullaby CD, Now the Day is Over, released in 2004. Fans of well-crafted children’s CDs may want to know that this is a most excellent collection of standard and traditional lullabies as well as a few song choices not typically considered lullabies that they play and that Karen sings as lullabies (such as, “Once Upon a Summertime,” “What a Wonderful World,” and “Moon River,” which I can promise you is the most gorgeous version of “Moon River” you’ll ever hear). I also must add that there is an original lullaby on this collection of songs (“My Love Goes With You”), written by Karen, that absolutely slays me with its transcendent beauty and includes such nuanced and peaceful and flat-out gorgeous piano-playing by Karen herself (really, it has this perfectly-placed piano note in it that almost makes me weep every time) . . . I could talk lullabies forever. They fascinate me (traditional, contemporary, world lullabies — you name it), and this is one of my favorite lullaby CDs ever ever ever (and I had always hoped they’d do a lullaby CD, when lo and behold! They released one the very year my first daughter was born).

I thought the cover art was very fitting for our blog’s purposes, and Karen sent that image as well as another image from the CD, both sprung from her mind and created by her hands. Aren’t they lovely? (And, as Eisha pointed out, the cover image — while still totally Karen’s creation — has a real Georg Hallensleben feel, does it not? Which is a good thing, in our book) . . .

Thanks so much to Karen. We are thrilled that she was willing to share her art work. Be sure to visit their site if you want some good, new music in your life. The information about the lullaby CD is here (you might want to hear it, whether or not you have children or even if yours are grown. It’s a lovely, peaceful way to end — and start — one’s day). A portion of the proceeds benefits children’s charities.

Next week we’ll get back to another children’s book illustrator, and we’re excited, but you’ll have to come back then, won’t you, to see who it is?

Now on to our lists . . .

* * * * * * * Jules’ list * * * * * * *

Poetry! Poetry! I’ve had a good poetry week . . .

1). This Poetry Friday entry from this week over at
a wrung sponge led me to this online publication, mamazine: “mamazine.com is a feminist publication for mamas and people who love them. As feminist mamas, we want to critically examine cultural expectations of mamas and resist the unhealthy pressures put on them, while also taking the time to celebrate the real and often poignant joys of raising children.” How have I gone without this for so long as a mother? Thank you, cloudscome.

2). That same post at a wrung sponge was also about a featured interview at mamazine with poet Deborah Garrison (here is the interview). She has a book of poetry out, entitled The Second Child: Poems (Random House, February 2007). As the interview points out (and as cloudscome mentioned in her Poetry Friday entry), this is an excerpt (a description of peonies) from one of Garrison’s poems in that anthology, entitled “Pink and White”: “tumbled and heavy along/ a fence, fully exploded, nodding/ at the ground . . .” And the poem ends like this: “I wasn’t sure/ our love would come again,/ and here I am, almost/ kissing the grass like that,/ bursting and rich, cracked/ all over like broken cake—/ makes you cry but still sweet.”

“Like broken cake.” I love it. How evocative. I’m already on hold at the local library for this anthology.

3). Sara Lewis Holmes’ original poem, Annunciation, featured at her Poetry Friday entry this week. Absolutely sublime. I just keep reading and re-reading it.

4). I thought about the poem “Lilies” by Mary Oliver all week:

I have been thinking
about living
like the lilies
that blow in the fields.

They rise and fall
in the edge of the wind,
and have no shelter
from the tongues of the cattle,

and have no closets or cupboards,
and have no legs.
Still I would like to be
as wonderful

as the old idea.
But if I were a lily
I think I would wait all day
for the green face

of the hummingbird
to touch me.
What I mean is,
could I forget myself

even in those feathery fields? . . .

Read here for the rest of it.

5). And I re-discovered this poem by Naomi Shihab Nye (“Fundamentalism,” a poem I’ve always loved), thanks to a comment Alkelda made in her upcoming blogger interview (tune in Monday for that interview). Oh, and a good friend of mine currently living and working at the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in California emailed to tell me that he got to sit in on part of a workshop Nye taught, which has helped revive his love for and practice of poetry. Excellent.

Okay, this is reading like a Poetry Friday entry, so two more quick non-poetry kicks:

6). Finally watching the science fiction classic “Soylent Green” with my husband. Right before the movie’s famous last line, I remembered the old “Saturday Night Live” skit with Phil Hartman (God rest his talented soul) as Charlston Heston in the movie. Even though that rather ruined the ending for me, I still chuckled to myself . . . Oh, and watching “Sideways.” The scene in which Miles tells Maya while he loves Pinot and she tells him why she loves wine is a kick of mine this week. I wouldn’t say the movie wow’ed me, but, whoa, that scene . . . now that’s some good writing.

7). Laughing to myself this week over something really stupid and, well, just infantile (and laughing again — and then again — and then one more time) . . . but realizing that Eisha would laugh, too, and hearing her laugh about it in my head. And realizing that’s how best friends are. You lose it over the same ridiculous things that others might think are remarkably unfunny . . . I wish she weren’t moving farther away, but I’m happy for her and cannot stinkin’ WAIT to visit her in Ithaca one day. Woo hoo!

I have no idea if Eisha will be adding her kicks this week. They’re heavy-duty in the midst of their move as I type. We’ll see . . . And I guess I should be saying sayonara here soon for a little while, as this week is supposed to be my official blog vacation while Eisha takes over (and if she’s not post-happy this coming week, cut her a break, since they’re making their Big Move to New York. I still can’t believe she offered to blog this week; she’s a whippersnapper, that one) . . .

Is anyone else around, or are you all off reading about Harry and his fight against evil? . . .

eisha: I’m here! Barely squeaking in before midnight… We just finished – a day behind schedule. It was the most bizarre move ever – fraught with unforeseen obstacles and just-as-unforeseen solutions. I’m way too tired to tell you all about it. So, let me just say, my one kick for this week:

1* We’re in Ithaca, and so is all our stuff.

And tomorrow, I’m running out to buy H.P. Screw unpacking, I’ve got to hurry before someone spoils it for me. So do not – I repeat, DO NOT – mention any details about the book on this blog until we’re both ready. Please? Thank you.

So, those of you able to tear yourselves away from HP7, how was your week?





21 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #20: Featuring Karen Peris”

  1. Those pictures are lovely. I am just popping in to say I’m moving tomorrow (to rellies for the week) and it looks like we’ll get everything done in time. Plus I survived scary chemical cleaners in the bathrrom (I remember now why I avoid them normally!).

    I’m glad you survived this horrible process, Eisha!


  2. I’m with you, jules. Let’s make Poetry Friday last as long as possible. (It’s on my list too.) And oooh, I love that album art work…

    eisha, I haven’t read HP7 yet either, so I’ll join you in defending against spoilers. Sit on a moving box and READ!

    My list:

    1. My daughter drove over 2,000 miles during the past two weeks, but now she’s home, safe and sound, full of stories and pictures.

    2. My son got a job! Making pizza, his favorite thing to eat, so we’ll see how THAT works out.

    3. So many wonderful poems to visit on Poetry Friday. Thanks to all who came by to leave words of encouragement for me.

    4. I put on Paul Simon’s song “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes” and danced myself silly. (This is how I prepare to clean my office.)

    5. The movie, Volver. Completely took me in.

    6. I got to write a recommendation letter for my yoga teacher, who I just adore.

    7. And because no 7-Imps list could be complete without a mention of food: I bought apricots and plums yesterday. And I have two tomatoes, in all their small garden-grown glory, sitting on my counter, waiting to be BLT’d.


  3. Jules, I’m still listening to We Walked in Song. Thanks for turning me onto them.

    Eisha, You’re in my state! Woo! Glad you (and your stuff) all got here safely.

    My 7:
    1. These brownies.
    2. HP#7, obviously: the excitement, the fanfare, Hank Green’s song, and Tricia from The Miss Rumphius Effect.
    3. We’ve finally gotten some nice, soaking rains this week (as opposed to passing t-storms that just create runoff and have been the bulk of our scant rain this summer).
    4. I went to see Black Sheep, a film in which genetically modified sheep attack their makers, which is so, so funny and wrong.
    5. Lucas got a mohawk. It’s the funniest thing ever. I’ll be posting pics soon.
    6. We had a really busy but good week with programs at the library, and it looks like the coming week is going to be more of the same.
    7. I spent the late afternoon/early evening hanging out with old friends at a backyard barbecue. Not much is better than that.


  4. To Eisha and Emmaco, who are moving, good luck and take time to relax. Jules, thanks for the wonderful art this week and a new music lead. Isn’t Mary Oliver a wonderful poet?
    My seven kicks:
    1. Halfway through the new Harry Potter book. I am racing to read it before someone spoils it for me. I, too, donn’t want details.
    2.Yesterday napping and reading the new HP after taking my aunt to the airport.
    3. Spending time with my 87 year old aunt who is so vibrant.
    4. Made a desicion to take the national boards for librarians.
    5. The gentle rain in the northwest this week.
    6. Time with the granddaughters, My aunt met them and was entertained. So sweet.
    7. My niece arrives tonight for 4 days.
    Everyone have a good week, I am going to get some HP reading in.


  5. My copy of HP7 hasn’t arrived yet– according to the library, it’s “in transit.” Poor Seattle Public Library isn’t as well-moneyed (monied?) as King County Library System. The latter has the wherewithal to have the books on the holds shelf for patrons on the release day. Anyway, I wouldn’t have been reading yesterday because I was working on

    1) The July 2007 Carnival of Children’s Literature! I worked on it all day, took a break, and spent much of the evening tweaking it. Those of you who read blogs as RSS feeds have a sneak peak at the revised almost-final since I ended up publishing it for 3 seconds.

    2) I got the gig for two 30 minute storytelling programs at Kids Fest this October (the week after the Kidlit conference) at the Seattle Children’s Museum.

    3) My family got to meet and hang out with Eric Herman’s family (of the Cool Tunes for Kids blog) after EH’s library show. They’re really cool people.

    4) Friends of ours just gave birth to a baby girl, and we get to visit them today. I kvell to fresh babies! They smell so good and usually are easily holdable.

    5) Progress with exercise is slowly revealing weight loss.

    6) I splurged and ordered a pair of Chelsea boots (evocative of the Beatle boots which I’ve not been able to find).

    7) I’m a Level 2 Mage in Chore Wars. Treasure accumulated so far for chores done: sweet peas, +6 promises of backrubs, adrenaline, storybook, 167 gold pieces.


  6. I just hit “submit comment” and the whole thing vanished. This is a test post, now.


  7. Wah! My list really did vanish. And I had links for y’all, too. Well, the big deal is that the July Carnival of Children’s Lit is done (and those of you who read your blogs on RSS feeds know that because I was silly and last night I published it for three seconds).


  8. Jules, have a good week off! Enjoy hanging out with your sweet girls. Eisha, you’ve arrived in Ithaca. All right! I’ve always wanted to go there and eat at Moosewood.

    Our biggest kick of the week was welcoming in the weekend by spending the late afternoon/early evening on Friday at the beach with a bunch of friends.


  9. Hi, everybody!

    Alkelda, I just saved your message. For some reason, it got lumped under spam, but I went and de-spammed it.

    I can’t wait to see your Carnival tomorrow — and to feature our interview with you. Woo hoo! And those are some savage boots, too.

    Susan, oh I’m jealous. I really want to see the ocean this year, but we’ll have to put it off one more time, due to having to replace an entire AC unit. Wah. I’m really glad you got to go — and with friends, to boot.

    Jone, yay for librarians — but not librarian tests. And I’m glad you had such great time with family this week.

    Adrienne, I want to see the mohawk pics! Oh and hey, remember, one of your posts has inspired our featured illustrator for next Sunday. Excellent.

    Sara, “Graceland” is wonderful for dancing around to. Dancing around is the only way I get exercise anymore. The Squirrel Nut Zippers, I find, are the best for this. But I’d take “Graceland” any day. And I’m glad your daughter made it back safely.

    Emmaco, good luck moving.

    I’ve been spending the morning packing up toys that are obviously for newborns, and — while it’s nice to clear up clutter and re-organize toys — it’s a bit bittersweet, too, since my girls aren’t that wee anymore.

    Oh — and yay for Eisha and her husband making it to Ithaca!


  10. Good luck to Eisha and Emmaco with settling in after moving…

    You folks still reading HP7, hurry up already ! (Teasing !!)

    My kicks:

    1 – I enjoyed HP7 !! After all my niggling resentment about it, JKR managed to suck me in and keep me there for the roughly 7 hours it took to read it. AND it wasn’t too “Lord of the Rings”y in its ending – YAY !!

    2 – I’ve completed three Tenth Doctor/Martha Jones short stories now and am part way through a fourth. People seem to be enjoying reading them too !

    3 – I started reading “Austenland” this morning – think I’m going to enjoy this !

    4 – I’m in the midst of re-watching New Doctor Who season 2 – just watched “The Girl in the Fireplace” – one of my favourite season 2 episodes (even though I mildly resent Sophia Myles for dating David Tennant !)

    5 – I’ve got two applications to put in for part time work…

    6 – This week I had an hour’s meeting with a friend who’s a published writer and we talked fiction writing for most of the hour…

    7 – It hasn’t rained in my corner of Oxfordshire today – which is a major relief given all the flash flooding in Oxfordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire yesterday !

    8 – A new German friend is coming over to England next weekend and we’re meeting up on Saturday – several hours of David Tennant-related conversation are on the cards… Bliss !

    Hope you all have had and will have a good week…

    Jules – enjoy your blogvation…

    Oh and Alkeda it’s “monied”… Yours
    Dictionary Girl ! ;-D


  11. 1. new shoes for my trip!
    2. a good rewrite of the first 40 pages of my YA novel!
    3. free language instruction podcasts!
    4. powerful dreams of ruling the world with words! (weird, but good!)
    5. fresh homemade mango salsa!
    6. there is no number six!
    7. peanut butter zigzag non-dairy ice cream back in stock!


  12. Thanks for the clarification, Dictionary Girl!

    I wonder if my original comment got lumped in with Spam because of the other links.

    Boy, I wish I could try one of Adrienne’s brownies. Hint, hint.


  13. Ups and downs for so many this week. I have friends and family members with good news, others with sad realizations, some stuck in a holding pattern. Good thoughts to everyone, if you have happy kicks or sad ones.


  14. Good luck settling in to new homes, Eisha and Emmaco. And Jules, I liked your last entry, about laughing at yourself, and best friends. Here are my kicks:

    1. I was able to lie on my couch all day yesterday, and read the 7th Harry Potter book. No worries, I would never spoil anything for anyone. But I’m glad to have read it, and not be living in fear of spoilers.

    2. I spent last weekend hiking in Big Sur, where I took Mheir for a surprise birthday weekend. So beautiful!

    3. We followed up by drinking a very nice bottle of birthday gift wine this weekend.

    …. and that’s all I can come up with. I’ve been immersed in Harry Potter, and drowning in work, and it’s like my world has become very very narrow…. But I’m sure that will improve in the future.


  15. Alkelda, you’re welcome (and apologies for mistyping your name earlier – I was racing to finish my post before dinner !)


  16. Hey, everyone. How about this post for those of you reading HP and not wanting spoilers (no, I’m not tricking you — this has no spoilers. It’s an amusing and angry cry against those trying to reveal spoilers, and it’s a quick read, a short post):

    blogapotamus.3dbhosting.com/?p=467

    I visited this site this weekend, ’cause Alkelda mentions it in her upcoming interview (come read it tomorrow, by the way).

    I did cringe at the “it may be a children’s book” line (as if they’re not important — for shame), but the rest of it made me laugh really hard, especially the final sentence (well, before she signs off).

    Jen, sorry you’ve been drowning in work, but I’m glad you got to sit and read all day yesterday. Thanks for taking the time to visit the kicks list, even if you couldn’t come up with 7 kicks.

    Little Willow, aw. I’m sorry about the downs (and “sad realizations”) in your week and your friends’. I hope rehearsals are going well for you, too.

    David, you always talk about the yummiest food. Home-made mango salsa, mmmm. Congrats on your re-write, too. Are you going to touch base with everyone while you’re travelling, or will you be incommunicado?

    Michele, BEST OF LUCK with those job applications. Have fun with your visiting friend next weekend, too.


  17. Jules,

    I’m probably going dark during the vacation. I’m having a hard enough time keeping up this past week b/c of so much pre-trip prep — cat sitters, power adapters, whatever. I think either Monday or Wednesday will be last blogpost, we’ll see. I’ll let y’all know.


  18. Jules– Galetea of Blogapotamus Rex reads lots of children’s and young adult books, and I’m guessing that her “It may be a children’s book” line is in response to all of the snide, “It’s only a children’s book” comments out there.


  19. Aha, I see. Thanks, Alkelda. I like the way she writes, and I might have a new daily read!


  20. hey again. okay, so the promised “high speed internet” that we’re supposed to have at our new apartment has been out all day. i’m currently parked outside a closed barnes & noble with my husband’s laptop just to check my email and such. i’m not sure how much i’m going to be able to post during jules’s blog vacation. hopefully we’ll get it fixed tomorrow, but i’m just warning ya.

    thanks for all the support and complete lack of HP spoilers. much appreciated.


  21. Don’t worry, Eisha. The world can wait on 7-Imp for a week. I’ll post something on Tuesday that says, hey, I’m off for a week, and Eisha has good intentions but spotty internet service, so just hold your horses, people. How’s that? That way if you can’t post, regular readers won’t be lost. And they’ll all survive.

    I hope you’ve been reading HP all day and decidedly not unpacking!


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